In business, these changes are critical to the way we do business.
Problems seem to arise, when small and medium business and not for profit organizations, do not understand the correlation between new technology and the advantages that it can bring to the business.
15 – 20 years ago, when computers were a totally new way of doing business, most of the support for a business was outsourced to an external party.
The classic example of this was “big blue” IBM, who were very good at supporting the requirements of business.
Their expertise made them a lot of money and huge profit margins were generated at the time.
About 10 years ago this all changed, not only had technology changed but it was easier for anyone to understand how to install a program, set up a printer or send an email could be done by anyone.
With the “computers are easy to understand” mantra the do it yourself generation arose.
Anyone with the aptitude or attitude could call themselves a computer guru.
No training required, look I am a computer guru!!!
This trend has continued into the now.
The problem with this trend is that it does more damage than it does good.
In addition to this trend there is an even bigger and problematic trend when it comes to writing applications for smart phones and tablets, but I digress and that discussion is for another post.
I recently saw an advert for Caps Clinic, a plastic surgery in Canberra, in the ad Dr Taylor explained the difference between a regular doctor – 3 year degree and a further 2 years on the job training and a QUALIFIED plastic surgeon – 5 years degree and 2 years on the job and additional 3 years of post graduate courses and training.
Now I do not know about you but if I had to have plastic surgery on my face I would want someone with years of training and experience than someone who is just a doctor.
This also transposes to IT, yes it is OK to use an in house ICT support person but because they are not trained in things like security and system optimization you only end up with a mediocre level of support.
Mediocre can deliver lost revenue, extended down time and other financial limitations that would be exposed and rectified by someone outside the system.
I am not saying that all small and medium business and not for profit organisations who use internal IT support are getting a bad deal, as some staff are very good at supporting the business.
What is am saying is that if your ICT system seems slow, problematic and unsecured that an alternative would be to look at an external ICT party.
Now, not to blow my own horn, but we have walked into situations where the business ICT has been slow, insecure and unresponsive and turned it around in less than 2 hours.
That is because we invest a lot of our money in training and keeping up with new trends and technology.
I remember the old story about the plumber who goes into a house and fixes a problem within 10 minutes with a gentle tap, he then charges $200.00. The customer is upset about the cost and asks for an itemised bill. The plumber itemises the bill to 2 items, knowing where to tap the system $199.00 and the tap $1.00.
Yes outsourced ICT support can be expensive but it in the end it will deliver a better ROI for your business.
Less down time, more responsive and more secure systems are better for your business than the alternatives.
Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework. Rapid Restart Appliance Creator. He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.